President Hernández steadily increased his control over the judiciary and filled independent institutions with his allies, including the Supreme Court. All judges owed their position to Hernández and voted to allow for his re-election.

Poverty and inequality are pronounced and structurally ingrained. Obstacles to social mobility include limited access to land and education, widespread unemployment and “informal” employment, and inadequate infrastructure and markets.

The system of clientelism and patronage has not been overcome, which impedes the efficient use of scarce public resources. Furthermore, the administration does not act professionally and rationally as the neo-patrimonial state continues to expand.

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